Panthers lock up Aaron Ekblad for eight years
The Florida Panthers have officially signed defender Aaron Ekblad to an eight-year extension.
"We are very excited to sign Aaron to a multi-year contract," said Panthers general manager Tom Rowe. "He is an exceptionally skilled, intelligent and mature young player that is a difference maker for our team both on and off the ice. Aaron is an integral part of the foundation of our future and a cornerstone player who is continuing to develop into a true leader and one of the league’s elite defensemen." The deal is believed to be worth $60 million, but the financials haven't been revealed. The 20-year-old was second on the team in ice time last season, and it doesn't come as any surprise that the Panthers were ready to lock him up long-term. Despite his youthful inexperience, Ekblad possesses a ton of upside and has made the most of his opportunity so far.
He has been terrific for the Panthers through his first two seasons, sporting a 52.9 Corsi For Percentage and 4.1 Relative Corsi For Percentage at Even Strength. Ekblad had 15 goals and 36 points with a plus/minus of +18 this past year.
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